Free Things to Do in Orlando, FL
Orlando, Florida, is a great place to live. Plus, as the home to popular theme parks, such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, it is also a great place to visit!
This town has a lovely climate and plenty of attractions, from pristine beaches to family-friendly amusement parks. The best part? You don’t need to spend tons of money to have fun in Orlando! You don't always need to eat at the best restaurants or go to museums to have fun.
There are many free things you can do in this beautiful city. Plus, there’s something for everyone, from outdoor activities to art galleries. If you’re planning to visit the Sunshine State this year, these are the ten things you can do for free!
1. Check Out Disney Springs or Disney Boardwalk
You don’t need to buy a park ticket to visit certain areas within Disney World. With complimentary free parking, Disney Springs is the perfect spot for a calm evening. Here, you can enjoy about 100 stores, over 60 eateries, from unique restaurants to counter-service spots, and a variety of free shows and events.
You can also take a stroll on Disney’s Boardwalk, which is located within walking distance of Disney’s EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. In this free-admission entertainment complex, you can walk along a Coney Island-style boardwalk, see free shows, or enjoy delicious food. You can even ride Disney’s ferry system for free!
2. Go to the Beach
Orlando has many amazing beaches. Most of them are less than 90 minutes away from the city! If you’ve always wanted to try surfing, you can take surf lessons at Cocoa Beach. It's perfect for a day out of the house, whether you just need a break or if you're waiting on a mold test.
If you want to enjoy watersports, such as swimming, snorkeling, parasailing, and jet skiing, you should go to Clearwater Beach. Or, if you simply want to relax, you can go sunbathe in New Smyrna Beach.
3. Visit the Old Town Entertainment District
If you’re in Orlando, you must visit Old Town. This retro-styled entertainment district in Kissimmee has plenty of paid attractions, restaurants, and stores. But there are also many free things to do in Old Town.
For instance, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, hundreds of proud car owners gather to showcase their collections. You’ll be able to see everything from antique cars to hot rods while enjoying music from local bands.
4. Explore Universal Citywalk at Night
This theme park-adjacent entertainment complex has plenty of restaurants, stores, and nightclubs. Plus, you can enjoy plenty of free activities, such as live DJ sets, shows, a splash area for kids, and free water taxis.
If you visit Universal Citywalk during the day, you’ll have to pay $30 for parking but it’s free after 6 p.m. most days!
5. Visit the CityArts Gallery
Located in downtown Orlando, CityArts is home to seven different art galleries. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday till 6 p.m. and it’s free to enter. The lineup and exhibitions are ever-changing, so there’s always something new!
6. Stroll Around Lake Nona’s Sculpture Garden
This 50,000-square-foot space at Lake Nona houses one-of-a-kind sculptures from The Lewis Collection.
You’ll be able to see iconic sculptures like Charging Bull by Arturo di Modica, Mother and Child by Henry Moore, and The Don by Philip Jackson. Plus, you’ll be able to explore the beauty of Lake Nona afterward.
7. Explore ICON Park
No Orlando visit is complete without riding The Wheel at ICON Park! This 400-foot-tall observation spot offers a unique view of central Florida. You’ll only have to wait 20 minutes to catch a ride! At night, you can sit back and enjoy The Wheel’s lighting!
Afterward, you can explore the 20-acre, outdoor entertainment center of ICON Park. With 40 restaurants, bars, and stores, there’s something for everyone. Plus, parking and park admission are completely free!
8. Enjoy a Movie Under the Stars
While you’re in Orlando, why not enjoy a movie under the stars? In Orlando, everyday can feel like summer vacation.
Moviola at Lake Eola Park offers free screening on the last Friday of every month from April to August. Showcasing mostly family-friendly films, this is the perfect late-night plan to spend time with your family, pets included! Just make sure to bring blankets and your favorite snacks.
If you’re looking for something more grown-up, À La Cart Orlando is another great option. They show classic movies on Mondays at 7 p.m. Plus, their on-site food trucks and bars are the perfect addition to any movie night!
9. Explore the UCF Arboretum
If you love nature, you’ll want to visit The Arboretum of the University of Central Florida. This 80-acre natural area is only 20 minutes away from downtown Orlando!
You can walk around its miles of trails, visit the greenhouses that are home to over 600 species of plant, or check out the community garden. You can also take a guided educational tour for an extra fee.
10. Browse the Rollins Museum of Art
The Museum of Art at Rollins College is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Orlando. It’s one of the must-see destinations you can’t miss if you’re a fan of art.
This museum has one of the oldest and biggest collections in Florida, with over 700 paintings! Plus, it showcases more than 2,000 prints, photographs, drawings, and sculptures.
11. Check Out the Celebration Town Center
At the heart of the Celebration community and only 10 minutes away from Walt Disney World, this charming town center has something for everyone.
You can window shop at any of its cute stores, eat delicious food at one of its many eateries, or simply stroll around its brick-lined streets. Plus, there are tons of events scheduled throughout the year, such as the Independence Day Parade and the Art Walk Celebration!
Visiting the Sunshine State doesn’t have to be overly expensive! There are plenty of free things to do in Orlando, such as visiting Disney Springs, spending a day at the beach, browsing art galleries, going for a walk at any of its many parks, or watching a movie under the stars.
Whether you're a local looking for things to do while Markham Services checks your home or on vacation, there are millions of fun things to do in Orlando without spending a dime.